There are hundreds of products on the market that claim to be able to help cure or clear up eczema flares. First off, whenever you come across a product claiming it cures, don’t buy it. There is no known cure for eczema. There are, however, several remedies that can help to reduce your flare ups and alleviate symptoms including: dry, itchy skin, itching and the inflammation that accompanies this disorder. Below are seven natural remedies to help provide you with some relief.
1- Stay Hydrated
The amount of water the human body is composed up of varies with age and gender. It ranges from 50-75%. It’s no wonder with those numbers, why it is important to keep the body hydrated. When your body is dehydrated it can cause your skin to dry out. The general rule is to drink 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water per day. This will help to keep your skin from drying out and causing eczema rashes to worsen.
2- Vinegar Soak
Next time your dermatitis is causing an uncontrollable itch, try taking a lukewarm bath with 3-4 cups of vinegar added to it. In my experience adding a cup of Epsom salts to this soak has helped to dry out eczema infections, while alleviating the itchiness. Soak for no longer than 12-15 minutes for optimal results.
3- Cool Off
One of the best ways to avoid scratching an eczema itch is by numbing the skin that is affected. It is important not to scratch at the rash. This will ensure it doesn’t spread or crack and risk infection. Use a cold compress, ice pack or even a bag of frozen peas. After you wrap it in a towel or washcloth, place it on the affected area for 10-15 minutes. Never apply ice packs directly to the skin, as it may result in freezer burn.
4- Bleach Baths
Bleach baths have been acknowledged as an effective treatment option by the American Academy of Dermatology. In fact, I was one of the first dermatologists that advocated this type of treatment for eczema. You should never implement this form of treatment without speaking with a physician first. Never apply bleach directly to your skin. Use regular strength bleach without fragrance. Add 1/4 cup to a half full tub of lukewarm water and soak no more than 5-10 minutes.
5- Ease Stress
Several stories have indicated that by engaging in stress reduction techniques or activities, eczema flare ups were reduced and there was significant improvement with symptoms. Some stress reduction activities include: Yoga, Pilates, Tai-Chi, meditation and deep breathing exercises.
6- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 essential fatty acids help to reduce inflammation and allergic reactions. Because eczema is characterized with inflammation, a diet rich in omega-3’s may benefit your condition. You can find these in foods including: white albacore tuna, mackerel, avocado, walnuts, flaxseed, hemp hearts (from Costco), lake trout, sardines and salmon. There are also supplements that can be taken in pill or liquid form.
Before implementing a supplement into your diet, however, it is best to speak to your doctor first. As some supplements can react with medications and conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and blood pressure.
The number one thing that will help to clear up eczema is moisturizing with the best skin care products for the job! Naturally, this is a dry, itchy skin condition, so it would only make sense that by adding proper moisturizers to the affected areas of skin would help to clear them up. Look for moisturizers that contain ceramides. Ceramides are essential skin lipids that make up about 47% of the epidermis and are lost due to environmental factors and sun damage.
Avoid products that contain known allergens and skin irritants of eczema including: sulfates, beeswax, oatmeal (likely due to gluten component), parabens, fragrances and PEGs. Products that contain coconut oil are magnificent, unless you have an allergy to coconut. Remember to use heavy creams and ointments for the most effective moisture lock and treatment of eczema and other dry, skin conditions.
Dr. Cheryl Lee Eberting has developed a sensitive skin care product line which she blogs about regularly at cherylleemd.com